Sunday, 28 August 2011

Paeonia cambessedessii -- Majorcan peony

[See new drawing of Our Lady at the bottom of post.]

Paeonia cambessedessii, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Paeonia cambessedessii is a peony native to the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean, principally Majorca. Its preferred habitats are rocky cliffs and exposed sites. It is rare in the wild. It grows to 45cm in height and produces deep rose-red flowers on reddish stems. The leaves have pronounced purple veins. In 1979 the plant was described a vulnerable in the IUCN Plant Red Data Book, being depleted through grazing by goats and intensive land development and confined to mountains in the north-west of the island.  Its common name is Majorcan peony.  Paeonia cambessedessii belongs to the family, Paeoniaceae.

I find this to be a fascinating flower mainly because of its beautiful leaves!  The pattern is different on each leaf.  Each design, etched in purple, I find to be a wonderful work of art. 

I hope I have given you just an indication of this plant's beauty in the drawing above.  The flowers in the wild can grow large -- up to 4 inches across -- and can vary in shades from rose-pink to mauve with prominent yellow stamens.

Paeonia cambessedessii (with hue correction), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
As usual, I could not resist playing with the drawing using my strange and wonderful software.  This selection is called "hue correction".  I realize that this option is to be used for correcting hue problems in photographs, but you must admit, it does wonderful things even with hues that don't need correcting -- changing the colours entirely into a new creation.

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St. Augustine

The 28th of August, by the way, is the Feast of St. Augustine.  We did not get to celebrate it this year because Sunday fell on the same day -- and Sundays, each being a "little Easter", always take precedence.

St. Augustine, ora pro nobis.

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The Story of the Park Ranger and the Bear: 

Our story begins as the Park Ranger gets set to release a bear back into the forest.  The bear had been captured humanely, then, while sedated, he had been weighed, tagged and given a electronic collar so that his future movements could be monitored.  Now, the truck has been parked and the Ranger is all set for the tricky business of releasing the bear.  Usually, this is a very simple process as the animal being released gladly flees directly into the thickest underbrush it can find.  However, on this occasion, things happened just a bit differently...


The bear, wearing its new electronic collar, is released by the Park Ranger from the bear cage

The bear, however, instead of just running off decides to express his displeasure about the whole situation!

When growling out his displeasure doesn't satisfy the bear, he decides to go after the Park Ranger instead

However, the weight of the bear toppled the cage throwing both the Park Ranger and bear on the ground

At this point the frightened bear ran off and the frightened Park Ranger escaped

So ends the latest saga of our friendly Park Ranger.  The bear ended up back in the forest where he belongs.  The Ranger had a few puncture wounds in his leg from the bear's claws when the bear grabbed his leg just prior to the cage toppling.  Fortunately, our friendly Park Ranger had kept his Tetanus shots up to date.  So all is well that ends well.
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Editor's note:  this story is a complete fabrication based entirely on the above photos coupled with my fertile imagination.  I received the pictures in an email from a friend without any real explanation.  I could not resist weaving them into a brief little photo essay! 

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Suki and Sallie

Suki has set a new record, I am sure, for losing the most cat hair in a single 24-hour period!  I have used 3 Swiffer cloths on the kitchen and bathroom (her two favourite places) floors this morning and I really need to use another one while she is sleeping.  I have seriously been wondering whether I would be charged with animal cruelty if I had her shaved.  What do you think? 

I, on the other hand, am not losing any hair -- at the moment.  Occasionally I feel like pulling some out, but that is another story.  Actually, I am getting better and taking each day at a time, I have so far managed to go slightly over a week without another fall.  I am very grateful about this and hopeful that I have learned enough from this last fall that I will be able, with the help of my guardian angel, to continue to be "fall-free".  Please keep me in your prayers.

I was not able to make it to Mass again today as I am still so terrible looking and sore that I think I would frighten all the little children who attend.  Thankfully, two of the Eucharistic Ministers from the parish are going to be bring me Holy Communion about noon.  I am so grateful to them and waiting for our Lord's arrival with much happiness.

And, so, I shall go and begin to prepare myself for my rendezvous!
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Our Lady

Here, as promised at the beginning of this posting, is the new drawing of Our Lady and her precious Son.

"Icon that is not an icon!", drawing of Our Lady and Child by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer
Every so often I just cannot resist doing a drawing of one of those sweet "mother and child" images of Our Lady.  Although I treat it as an icon when I am drawing, I know full well that it is just a sweet picture.

May the peace of God be with us all.

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